Salim Ghettas


Over the last decade the process sector has experienced unprecedented process incidents that are due to a combination of organizational, technical, and cultural deficiencies. Thus, Process Safety Management (PSM) has become a subject of great interest for process companies, governments, and professional associations. In fact, many researchers have questioned the effectiveness of PSM programs in process companies and discussed the features of a quality PSM program.

Indeed, a review of the literature reveals several PSM issues in this sector internationally, which are mainly about organizational safety culture, maintenance and operational integrity of processes, PSM performance measurement, employee training, and knowledge management.

The purpose of this research is to assess the maturity of PSM at Sonatrach, the Algerian public-owned oil and gas company, by evaluating the effectiveness of its PSM program as a part of the overall EHS management system through assessment of the key characteristics of a functional PSM program at Sonatrach, and how this is indicative of the state of PSM in developing countries. Given the results, this work provides recommendations for an appropriate path forward for Sonatrach to fully implement and improve PSM beyond adoption of standards.An explanatory mixed research approach was selected to investigate the state of PSM programs at Sonatrach facilities. It consisted of an online survey administered to a sample of twenty-two EHS specialists followed by six interviews with EHS specialists working at different Sonatrach facilities.

The results showed that Sonatrach encounters issues, in addition to the ones mentioned above, in the organizational structure of the company, the PSM documentation, human integrity, legal compliance, and checking and reviewing of the PSM program performance. This research concludes with recommendations that would address these issues in order to establish a robust PSM program within Sonatrach facilities and in the process sector in general.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Industrial safety; Petroleum engineering--Safety measures; Continuous improvement process; Environmental health

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Environmental, Health and Safety Management (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Civil Engineering Technology Environmental Management and Safety (CAST)


Jennifer L. Schneider

Advisor/Committee Member

Joseph M. Rosenbeck

Advisor/Committee Member

Todd Dunn


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at TS5 .G45 2015


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes